I have a love / hate thing going on with this record. On one hand, it’s riddled with sharp, witty lines from Pusha-T, that genuinely bring a grin to my face.
Rose gold all on my wrist This Rolex like devil's piss
However, upon a full listen, you can hear something has gone terribly wrong at Pusha’s new home, G.O.O.D Music.
First of all, this is one of the worst sounding records I’ve heard. It’s recorded poorly, mixed poorly, and mastered by a deaf man with nothing other than a sharp EQ and compressor with a ratio about 20:1. Technically, about 80 percent of the tracks are ruined, verging on unlistenable. Really it’s that bad. If I thought this was an amateur recording I would have still made note of the poor sound quality, but to think this is the output of a professional studio, and a commercial release, it’s almost hard to believe. But sound quality has never made or broke a record, it’s all about performance. That, however, is the second problem.
Pusha was a great MC. One of the best in my opinion. His work on “Hell Hath No Fury” with his brother Malice (sorry about the Twitter fight, we cool brah?) was nothing short of incredible. Rapping about the struggle and the fight. About the selling to get by, and not about selling just to buy. Now Pusha is properly famous, an appearance on SnL putting an almighty stop to any underground cred he has left, and rapping simply about being a famous rapper. Pusha has turned into Rick Ross, rapping about imaginary mega-wealth, and well, not much else. I’ve never liked this kind of hip-hop, and it’s still not growing on me, not even when Pusha tries to sell me it.
Pusha’s façade as a drug dealer is now an entirely imagined idea, a cachet that he rides on almost every track, but one that’s so far back in the rear-view it’s merely a speck on the horizon. The act of selling drugs, and the burdens and spoils that come with it, rarely enters his music anymore, and when it does, it rings as hollow as Ross’ claims that you can call him up right now on his iPhone and score some coke. Mutha fucker was a prison guard for fuck sake.
Pusha’s sly confidence has now turned into arrogance, happy to put out shitty, guest star-ridden tracks, talk with a swagger and just pretend they’re hot. The fact that “Fear Of God II” steals it’s last five tracks from “Fear Of God” show’s how lazy this thing is. It shows ZipLock-P no longer has the hunger, or the energy, to compete. This isn’t going to last much longer. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll even listen to his album when it drops in 2012.